Children of exile: Why Mahmoud Darwish and Edward Said are poster children of the Israel-Palestine conflict

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Written by Shreya Banerjee

The shortest airline distance between Israel and Palestine is approximately 65 kilometres. A distance which is ideological, geo-poltical, religious and cultural. Many authors and poets over the ages have used their craft, poetry and academic scholarship to fill this gap- with the hope that someday ‘violets shall grow from the soldier’s helmet’ (The Sleeping Garden, 1977, Darwish).

Ever since the clashes between Israel and Palestine, social media has been ebbing with images, poems and videos of Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish. But who are these individuals? What do they have to do with Palestine?

The micro-narrative of social media conceals far more than it reveals. What these fragments of information fail to identify are the social, political, historical and cultural spaces these individuals inhabited- both in their own ways, which cannot be fitted into one another. What can be examined, however, is what…

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